Where to find good lisp critiques?

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Tayss

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Nov 30, 2003, 11:57:50 PM11/30/03
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I'm trawling through old usenet postings about lisp. Boy, were they a
flaming bunch. (Though some of their criticisms today look silly.)
Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms? This
doesn't have to be just about Common Lisp, but systems like Interlisp
or how overrated Lisp Machines were would be great too.

Partly I'm motivated by a waning interest in learning more about the
language (because books only give a very filtered account), and
because I think people can simply not trust all this wide-eyed
idealism that comes from evangelists. If critics were just partly
right about Common Lisp being a nasty compromise, it would be very
educational.

BTW, I'm aware of the enormous noise-to-signal ratios inherent in
these things... and I'm not motivated by any dislike of lisp,
especially since I'm still blown away at how I can write Common Lisp
test harness systems in under 20 lines that are far better than xUnit,
or a personal Google that keeps track of what I buy in less than 50...

Any pointers would be very appreciated.

Kenny Tilton

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Dec 1, 2003, 12:42:17 AM12/1/03
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Tayss wrote:

> Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms?

Paul Graham's site? He likes Lisp, but thinks Common Lisp sucks.

kt


--
http://tilton-technology.com

Why Lisp? http://alu.cliki.net/RtL%20Highlight%20Film

Your Project Here! http://alu.cliki.net/Industry%20Application

Paolo Amoroso

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Dec 1, 2003, 4:25:09 AM12/1/03
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Tayss writes:

> Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms? This

A few suggestions (don't have the URLs handy, but they should be easy
to find via Google):

- the Common Lisp critique by Gabriel (available at his site)
- the Closthrophobia(sp?) paper and other critiques by Henry Baker
- Norvig's comments on Lisp/Python
- Paul Graham's writings
- critiques on particular features by regular comp.lang.lisp
contributors (e.g. Erann Gat)


> because I think people can simply not trust all this wide-eyed
> idealism that comes from evangelists. If critics were just partly

A possibly little known account of ANSI standardization from an
insider is:

"The History of Lisp Standardization during 1984-1990"
Masayuki Ida
Proceedings of ILC 2002

He published more extensive papers in Japanese. In the same
proceedings see also the paper by Richard Greenblatt I mentioned in
the thread about bootstrapping SBCL on Mac OS X.


Paolo
--
Why Lisp? http://alu.cliki.net/RtL%20Highlight%20Film

Pascal Costanza

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Dec 1, 2003, 5:53:40 AM12/1/03
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Tayss wrote:
> I'm trawling through old usenet postings about lisp. Boy, were they a
> flaming bunch. (Though some of their criticisms today look silly.)
> Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms? This
> doesn't have to be just about Common Lisp, but systems like Interlisp
> or how overrated Lisp Machines were would be great too.

Apart from the suggestions already made that include mostly direct and
open criticisms, you could also try to find out about unspoken
criticism. Here are some suggestions:

- Schemers usually try to set themselves apart from Common Lispniks (and
vice versa). Papers and descriptions about Scheme typically include
descriptions why Scheme is considered to be superior in some respects
over Common Lisp.

You might want to ask in comp.lang.scheme for such resources.

- Likewise, functional programming has its roots in Lisp languages, but
typically FPers find that newer FP languages are improvements over Lisps
(including Common Lisp and Scheme). Some papers and descriptions include
discussions about the similarities and differences. Especially, papers
about metaprogramming seem to be worthwhile in this regard.

Ask in comp.lang.functional for further information.

http://www.informatik.uni-trier.de/~ley/db/conf/saig/saig2001.html#Sheard01
might be a good starting point.

- Next, some OOPers that know about CLOS also seem to have arguments
about why other OOP languages are "better". Mostly, one can hear
statements along the lines that CLOS is too complicated, but I haven't
yet heard really convincing arguments yet.

Gregor Kiczales seems to think so, but it's hard to get any substantial
statements about this issue from him, for obvious reasons.

Erik Ernst's work on gbeta mentions CLOS's method combination as related
work, but I don't know whether this is along the lines you are
interested in.

- A good source where you could ask this question might be the ll1
mailing list.

I hope this helps.

BTW, it would be really great if you could at some stage collect the
information at a single place - a website, or a paper would be cool.
Just a suggestion...


Pascal

--
Pascal Costanza University of Bonn
mailto:cost...@web.de Institute of Computer Science III
http://www.pascalcostanza.de Römerstr. 164, D-53117 Bonn (Germany)

Alex Tibbles

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Dec 1, 2003, 6:51:30 AM12/1/03
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"Pascal Costanza" <cost...@web.de> wrote in message
news:bqf6jl$16m2$1...@f1node01.rhrz.uni-bonn.de...
<snip>

> - Next, some OOPers that know about CLOS also seem to have arguments
> about why other OOP languages are "better". Mostly, one can hear
> statements along the lines that CLOS is too complicated, but I haven't
> yet heard really convincing arguments yet.
>
> Gregor Kiczales seems to think so, but it's hard to get any substantial
> statements about this issue from him, for obvious reasons.

Please forgive my ignorance, but what are the reasons? I believe that
Kiczales was involved in CLOS's development and is involved in AspectJ,
hence Java, but cannot think why this would prevent him from criticizing
CLOS....

Thanks,
Alex


Tayss

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Dec 1, 2003, 10:50:51 AM12/1/03
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Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message news:<ZwAyb.149006$ri.21...@twister.nyc.rr.com>...

> Tayss wrote:
> > Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms?
>
> Paul Graham's site? He likes Lisp, but thinks Common Lisp sucks.

Interestingly enough, I've never seen him make clear on why he thinks
that. His intro book talks a bit about loop, and I can see the
iteration vs. recursion war, but I don't remember him making it
explicit. I think a lot of people have been used to all these
flamewars and end up taking things for granted without specifying them
in detail.

Like whenever I make a post here, sometimes I step on a landmine.
Which is why my original post was so long, to make sure I'm not
perceived as some jerk who wants to make flamewars by regurgitating
old flames.

What I really would like to understand is Hillis' and Weinreb's
comments that Common Lisp would have been a lot more like Scheme if
backwards compatibility were not so important an issue. And what
parts of Flavors should not have been lost by CLOS. I guess I should
start searching for the minutes of the standardization committee.

Pascal Costanza

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Dec 1, 2003, 11:11:59 AM12/1/03
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Tayss wrote:

> Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message news:<ZwAyb.149006$ri.21...@twister.nyc.rr.com>...
>
>>Tayss wrote:
>>
>>>Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms?
>>
>>Paul Graham's site? He likes Lisp, but thinks Common Lisp sucks.
>
>
> Interestingly enough, I've never seen him make clear on why he thinks
> that.

You can find some information in his rationales for Arc. "Why Arc Isn't
Especially Object-Oriented" has some bits AFAIR. See
http://www.paulgraham.com/noop.html

> What I really would like to understand is Hillis' and Weinreb's
> comments that Common Lisp would have been a lot more like Scheme if
> backwards compatibility were not so important an issue. And what
> parts of Flavors should not have been lost by CLOS. I guess I should
> start searching for the minutes of the standardization committee.

I think such criticism isn't very interesting. What I like about Common
Lisp is that it has largely standardized proven practice. More often
than not one can experience this when using the language that several
features just work extremely well together. This is nothing that can be
objectively described though IMHO.

It's right that Common Lisp has some unaesthetic edges, but again more
often than not they exist for good reasons. Aesthetical principles
shouldn't play the most important role when designing a language IMHO.
(And I think that Scheme and most of the functional programmming
languages just follow mathematical principles of purity, minimality,
elegance, and so forth, which are foremostly aesthetical principles. But
many mathematically inclined people don't seem to understand this - or I
don't get the pragmatic relevance of such principles.)

For people who want Scheme there's Scheme.

Duane Rettig

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Dec 1, 2003, 11:33:40 AM12/1/03
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tayss...@yahoo.com (Tayss) writes:

> Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message news:<ZwAyb.149006$ri.21...@twister.nyc.rr.com>...
> > Tayss wrote:
> > > Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms?
> >
> > Paul Graham's site? He likes Lisp, but thinks Common Lisp sucks.
>
> Interestingly enough, I've never seen him make clear on why he thinks
> that.

He stated at ILC 2003 that _all_ current lisps suck. It's obvious what
he's trying to do; he's setting up his own lisp, Arc, to be the one
lisp that doesn't suck.

> His intro book talks a bit about loop, and I can see the
> iteration vs. recursion war, but I don't remember him making it
> explicit.

His complaint about loop isn't about iteration vs recursion; it is
a different-language-within-a-language complaint. I remember reading
his critique, but it was a long time ago; I don't remember if he did
this, but his complaint would not be complete unless he also included
a complaint about cl:format, which is also a complete language within CL.
Such is the nature of CL - languages withing languages...

> I think a lot of people have been used to all these
> flamewars and end up taking things for granted without specifying them
> in detail.

Perhaps is it truer that people go away from these flamewars with
their own opinions, none of which match anyone else's.

> Like whenever I make a post here, sometimes I step on a landmine.
> Which is why my original post was so long, to make sure I'm not
> perceived as some jerk who wants to make flamewars by regurgitating
> old flames.

I read through that post, and I think I understand what you're getting
to, but you didn't state any other goal than educational as to why
you are looking for these criticisms. Are there any other long-range
purposes?

If education is your final objective, then it would not be complete
unless you also have obtained reactions/responses to those criticisms
as well. I agree with the request that you make the compilation of
these criticisms available, and perhaps you could add to these any
links to classic responses that are provided to you for each criticism.
Such a site would be a tremendous resource.

> What I really would like to understand is Hillis' and Weinreb's
> comments that Common Lisp would have been a lot more like Scheme if
> backwards compatibility were not so important an issue.

Such comments assume that Common Lisp hangs on that one objective
(i.e. backward compatibility). That assumption is wrong. Common
Lisp makes tradeoffs (among others) between inclusiveness and
simplicity, and comes down on the side of inclusiveness usually.
Scheme is the opposite - it comes down on the side of simplicity
usually. Inclusiveness is not a backward-compatibility issue,
although there are compatibility issues to deal with when including
many concepts into a larger whole.

> And what parts of Flavors should not have been lost by CLOS.

Allegro CL still supports Flavors. We have a few flavors-users who
themselves have approached us to ease the transition into the CLOS
world by making flavor instances more dynamic, at least to a certain
extent. The parts of Flavors (e.g. static nature) which were "lost"
to CLOS were done so for a reason, and it is not an accident that
most of our users have moved away from Flavors, even though it is
still available.

> I guess I should
> start searching for the minutes of the standardization committee.

Start with the issues:
http://www.lispworks.com/reference/HyperSpec/Front/X3J13Iss.htm


--
Duane Rettig du...@franz.com Franz Inc. http://www.franz.com/
555 12th St., Suite 1450 http://www.555citycenter.com/
Oakland, Ca. 94607 Phone: (510) 452-2000; Fax: (510) 452-0182

Ray Dillinger

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Dec 1, 2003, 2:10:25 PM12/1/03
to
Duane Rettig wrote:
>
> tayss...@yahoo.com (Tayss) writes:
>
> > Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message news:<ZwAyb.149006$ri.21...@twister.nyc.rr.com>...
> > > Tayss wrote:
> > > > Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms?
> > >
> > > Paul Graham's site? He likes Lisp, but thinks Common Lisp sucks.
> >
> > Interestingly enough, I've never seen him make clear on why he thinks
> > that.
>
> He stated at ILC 2003 that _all_ current lisps suck. It's obvious what
> he's trying to do; he's setting up his own lisp, Arc, to be the one
> lisp that doesn't suck.

Actually, I think his report of his perception regarding
current lisps is sincere. He's not trying to create a
market for what he's doing; let's face it, the man has
made his money and doesn't seem to have any very expensive
tastes. It seems to me that he's doing ARC mainly
*because* he thinks that current lisps suck.

Common Lisp and Scheme have problems in very different
ways, for very different reasons. I think there's plenty
of space in which you can do better than both languages
on most things.

I think Mr. Graham likes the single namespace of scheme.
I think he wants a more uniform treatment of data that have
until now been regarded as different kinds (strings, lists
of characters). I think he dislikes scheme's hygienic
macros and call/cc. I think he likes the drive to fewer
and more general operators of scheme but likes the range
and scope of libraries in Common Lisp.

Basically, CL has the problems of a big-ass system language;
complicated interfaces, difficult to learn, module and OO
stuff you have to know to get much of anywhere, etc. These
are lots of barriers to entry, and this is a problem scheme
doesn't have. You can pick up scheme in a couple days
relatively painlessly because it's a lot simpler, and CL
misses a lot of opportunities for simplicity. It has a
big, solid standard that makes most original ideas about
how a language could work illegal.

Scheme has the problems of a pedagogical language; it's
small and clean and simple and powerful in terms of its
control structures and the interaction of its parts, but
it doesn't have parts that do most of the specific bit-
fiddling stuff you need and standardization moves at a
glacial pace. It's standard prohibits very little, and
as a result dozens of implementations fill in the gaps
with thousands of different ideas - fertile ground for
experimentation and language design and thinking about
what code is and does, but not a solid platform for
developing software.

Graham is apparently trying to aim ARC at a different
target.

Bear

Kent M Pitman

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Dec 1, 2003, 2:11:01 PM12/1/03
to
tayss...@yahoo.com (Tayss) writes:

> I'm trawling through old usenet postings about lisp. Boy, were they a
> flaming bunch. (Though some of their criticisms today look silly.)
> Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms? This
> doesn't have to be just about Common Lisp, but systems like Interlisp
> or how overrated Lisp Machines were would be great too.

Lisp Machines were NOT overrated. As time passes, they certainly have
increasing levels of trouble comparing to modern systems, but they did
not disappear because of lack of usefulness. Rather, they disappeared
for bad business decisions (catering to Mac rather than PC,
taking a ten year lease on office space for 1000 people and then
downsizing with a multi-million dollar long-term commitment on that
office space, etc.) For references on Lisp Machines, see perhaps
http://www.wkap.nl/prod/b/0-89838-220-3 if you've not seen that.
Or better still, get together with someone who HAS a lisp machine.
(If it's not ordinarily possible, arrange to meet them at a conference?)

Interlisp is probably underrated in most places you read about it only
because history is written by the winners and it lost to the Lisp Machine
community. But it had many good ideas in it that were simply lost.

Why not invest in learning the "truth"? It's not that no one will
tell you about problems in the design of these and it's not like these
things didn't have "bugs to fix" and "wishlists". It's just that in spite
of those things, they still far exceeded the competition.

> Partly I'm motivated by a waning interest in learning more about the
> language (because books only give a very filtered account), and
> because I think people can simply not trust all this wide-eyed
> idealism that comes from evangelists. If critics were just partly
> right about Common Lisp being a nasty compromise, it would be very
> educational.

Critics have a vested interest in not having things they like better change,
whether those things are inferior or superior. Most Lisp users criticize
by building alternatives, extensions, etc. -- constructively. Lisp enables
this kind of thing, and so Lisp users don't generally dwell on the
deficiencies.

What exactly do you hope/expect to find? Why not just ask questions about
the things you wonder about and leave your mind open as to whether the
results are "good" or "bad" or "glowing" or "damning". Just seek to
understand things as they are. We're a pretty honest group here.

> BTW, I'm aware of the enormous noise-to-signal ratios inherent in
> these things...

IMO, the signal to noise ratio here is pretty good, compared to some
newsgroups. Yeah, it runs out of control once in a while, but it's
easy to skip out on a thread that has exploded and get to the next.

> and I'm not motivated by any dislike of lisp,
> especially since I'm still blown away at how I can write Common Lisp
> test harness systems in under 20 lines that are far better than xUnit,
> or a personal Google that keeps track of what I buy in less than 50...
>
> Any pointers would be very appreciated.

I'm honestly just not sure what you're seeking.

This is an interactive group. If you have some question about the how or
why of the language, why not just ask that? People will then either point
you at an appropriate document or will engage you directly. It's much
better to deal with this (and probably any) group by being
(domain-)goal-oriented [ask something about Lisp or how to use it]
than by being meta-outcome-oriented [asking something about winners/losers
or critics/enthusiasts]. Leave the assessment of winners and losers to
the historians. Not because they'll have a brighter view, but because that
kind of analysis is exactly what you seem not to be seeking, IMO. You
seem to both be seeking an honest account and a "big picture" account, but
I think big picture accounts are necessarily at least biased according to
the speaker. I make them all the time, and I try to be honest, but they
always include my personal biases. Others make theirs and they disagree
because it includes their biases. If you want to know something unbiased,
ask what CAR and CDR do. Heh... ;)

Kent M Pitman

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Dec 1, 2003, 2:51:44 PM12/1/03
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Duane Rettig <du...@franz.com> writes:

> > What I really would like to understand is Hillis' and Weinreb's
> > comments that Common Lisp would have been a lot more like Scheme if
> > backwards compatibility were not so important an issue.
>
> Such comments assume that Common Lisp hangs on that one objective
> (i.e. backward compatibility). That assumption is wrong. Common
> Lisp makes tradeoffs (among others) between inclusiveness and
> simplicity, and comes down on the side of inclusiveness usually.
> Scheme is the opposite - it comes down on the side of simplicity
> usually. Inclusiveness is not a backward-compatibility issue,
> although there are compatibility issues to deal with when including
> many concepts into a larger whole.

In one sense perhaps this illustrates the way in which there is a
problem in the problem description. Backward compatibility is not
always about attention to "existing practice" but can sometimes also
be about the sensibilities of those with experience. Indeed if you
killed off all of those who remembered why CL was the way it was and
you ignored all of the written documentation on the design rationales
and you just tried to re-invent the thought based on other documents
that have come since (which have tried, sometimse unconsciously
sometimes consciously) to ignore Lisp, you might indeed find that you
ended up making Schemish decisions rather than Lisp ones. But it's
just as likely that the reason would be "ignorance" as "informedness".
That's not to call Scheme advocates ignorant at all. That's just to
say that CL is what it is for a great many time-tested reasons, just
as Scheme is. There is no "canonically good Lisp". However, there are
centers of mass at various points in the multi-dimensional design space
around which local optima have been observed to be achieved working from
various incompatible design principles, which is how we get to Duane's
observation above, which I think is well-put.

The problem is really in objectively defining your goal. Since that
cannot be done, it's easy to manipulate the outcome of a discussion
and confuse those who are discussing things.

The "good" outcome, if any can be had, is merely to "inform one of a
space of options open to them". Any time someone tries to inform you
that things others are using successfully are "not options open to
you" or are "bad options", be at least a bit suspicious. I use Lisp
because it is good for me, and I welcome others to the midst who are
dissatisfied with what they find elsewhere, but I do not engage in
trying to convince others in other communities that they are or should
be dissatisfied. I'm happy to engage in a discussion with them about
why I was dissatisfied with other options, or to help them articulate
their own vague reasons for dissatisfication that perhaps they cannot
put into words, but I want to stop short of putting words or ideas
into their head where they have not invited me. This is one reason I
largely do not post on comp.lang.scheme even though I have used Scheme
and have strong feelings about it. I prefer to read that list, when I
very occasionally do, to find out what its advocates say on their own
terms, not in response to my or others' critiques.

Tayss

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Dec 1, 2003, 2:54:04 PM12/1/03
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Pascal Costanza <cost...@web.de> wrote in message news:<bqf6jl$16m2$1...@f1node01.rhrz.uni-bonn.de>...
> BTW, it would be really great if you could at some stage collect the
> information at a single place - a website, or a paper would be cool.
> Just a suggestion...

Definitely, I was wondering if others might find it interesting. And
thanks for the suggestions.

Plus, lispers have historically been friendly with the puns. ;)


--
I see them as symbols, and I leave them to the symbol-minded.
— George Carlin

Kenny Tilton

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Dec 1, 2003, 3:03:25 PM12/1/03
to

Ray Dillinger wrote:
> Duane Rettig wrote:
>
>>tayss...@yahoo.com (Tayss) writes:
>>
>>
>>>Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message news:<ZwAyb.149006$ri.21...@twister.nyc.rr.com>...
>>>
>>>>Tayss wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms?
>>>>
>>>>Paul Graham's site? He likes Lisp, but thinks Common Lisp sucks.
>>>
>>>Interestingly enough, I've never seen him make clear on why he thinks
>>>that.
>>
>>He stated at ILC 2003 that _all_ current lisps suck. It's obvious what
>>he's trying to do; he's setting up his own lisp, Arc, to be the one
>>lisp that doesn't suck.
>
>
> Actually, I think his report of his perception regarding
> current lisps is sincere. He's not trying to create a
> market for what he's doing; let's face it, the man has
> made his money and doesn't seem to have any very expensive
> tastes.

I agree. It is probably just a cool retirement project. Hell, everyone
on cll seems to be working on their own version of Lisp, why shouldn't
he? The great thing is how much attention it will bring to CL.

The only way we lose is if Arc turns out better than CL, and then we
don't lose, because, contrary to the "wide-eyed idealism that comes from
evangelists" bullshit, we're all just happy users. Create a better
language and we'll use that.

But from what Graham says about "small is better", methinks it will
suffer the fate of Scheme. I'd be amazed to see Arc come with OO, so the
first thing that happens (if Arc takes off and people want to scale it
from scripting jobs to apps) is multiple Arc OOs. etc etc, and then
sharing gets ugly.

But I'd love to see Arc get to an initial release just to see what PG
comes up with.

Paolo Amoroso

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Dec 1, 2003, 3:40:44 PM12/1/03
to
Tayss writes:

[Paul Graham]


> Interestingly enough, I've never seen him make clear on why he thinks
> that. His intro book talks a bit about loop, and I can see the
> iteration vs. recursion war, but I don't remember him making it
> explicit. I think a lot of people have been used to all these

I think he discusses this in Arc design/rationale documents. I seem to
remember that he says Common Lisp is not good enough for hackers,
e.g. it's too verbose.

Paolo Amoroso

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Dec 1, 2003, 4:10:25 PM12/1/03
to
Kent Pitman writes:

> Lisp Machines were NOT overrated. As time passes, they certainly have

[...]


> office space, etc.) For references on Lisp Machines, see perhaps
> http://www.wkap.nl/prod/b/0-89838-220-3 if you've not seen that.
> Or better still, get together with someone who HAS a lisp machine.
> (If it's not ordinarily possible, arrange to meet them at a conference?)

The next best thing may be to watch Rainer Joswig's cool LispM videos.

Or maybe play with McCLIM's CLIM listener. As I have already said
somewhere, it makes me feel the LispM between my toes :)

Gareth McCaughan

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Dec 1, 2003, 6:38:14 PM12/1/03
to
Paolo Amoroso <amo...@mclink.it> writes:

> - the Closthrophobia(sp?) paper and other critiques by Henry Baker

"CLOStrophobia". Another one of his that would probably
interest the original poster is entitled "Critique of DIN
Kernel Lisp".

--
Gareth McCaughan
.sig under construc

Duane Rettig

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Dec 1, 2003, 7:13:40 PM12/1/03
to
Ray Dillinger <be...@sonic.net> writes:

> Duane Rettig wrote:
> >
> > tayss...@yahoo.com (Tayss) writes:
> >
> > > Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message news:<ZwAyb.149006$ri.21...@twister.nyc.rr.com>...
> > > > Tayss wrote:
> > > > > Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms?
> > > >
> > > > Paul Graham's site? He likes Lisp, but thinks Common Lisp sucks.
> > >
> > > Interestingly enough, I've never seen him make clear on why he thinks
> > > that.
> >
> > He stated at ILC 2003 that _all_ current lisps suck. It's obvious what
> > he's trying to do; he's setting up his own lisp, Arc, to be the one
> > lisp that doesn't suck.
>
> Actually, I think his report of his perception regarding
> current lisps is sincere.

How do you read what I said as saying that he was being
insincere? Of course he is sincere. He sincerely thinks
he can create a language that doesn't suck.

> He's not trying to create a market for what he's doing;

I would be disappointed if that were true. And I don't think
it is true. Conversations with him in the halls lead me to
believe that in fact he is indeed looking to market Arc. The
portion of your statement the does seem to have a nugget of
truth in it is the undeniable fact that he is not marketing
Arc using conventional methods. And he does seem surprised
that people are pushing so hard at him to "get it done", where
he really is trying to do it right, and doesn't have it all
designed yet. But from what he said on stage and in the halls
at ILC 2003, he most certainly wants Arc to succeed and to
become very popular.

> let's face it, the man has
> made his money and doesn't seem to have any very expensive
> tastes. It seems to me that he's doing ARC mainly
> *because* he thinks that current lisps suck.

Yes, and once his version is done, it will be interesting
to see how many people think his new lisp sucks, as well.
He may succeed in minimizing that number, but I have strong
doubts that it will go to zero.

> Common Lisp and Scheme have problems in very different
> ways, for very different reasons. I think there's plenty
> of space in which you can do better than both languages
> on most things.

You use the term "better", but you haven't defined it, nor
have you succeeded in providing examples below (the examples
below are tradeoffs, not necessarily betterments).

Both Scheme and CL have strong points as well as weaknesses, and
they in fact fairly well balance each other based on the opposite
directions they tend to lean. When Arc is solidified,
it will also have its strong points and its weaknesses, based
on design decisions made, and if those weaknesses overlap any
of Scheme's or CL's strengths, then there will be those in the
Scheme or CL camps that say that Arc sucks as well.

> Graham is apparently trying to aim ARC at a different
> target.

I wish him the best of luck. It is and will be an uphill
battle to hit that target.

Kenny Tilton

unread,
Dec 1, 2003, 8:18:52 PM12/1/03
to

Duane Rettig wrote:
> Ray Dillinger <be...@sonic.net> writes:
>
>
>>Duane Rettig wrote:
>>
>>>tayss...@yahoo.com (Tayss) writes:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message news:<ZwAyb.149006$ri.21...@twister.nyc.rr.com>...
>>>>
>>>>>Tayss wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>>Does anyone know of any places I can find good criticisms?
>>>>>
>>>>>Paul Graham's site? He likes Lisp, but thinks Common Lisp sucks.
>>>>
>>>>Interestingly enough, I've never seen him make clear on why he thinks
>>>>that.
>>>
>>>He stated at ILC 2003 that _all_ current lisps suck. It's obvious what
>>>he's trying to do; he's setting up his own lisp, Arc, to be the one
>>>lisp that doesn't suck.
>>
>>Actually, I think his report of his perception regarding
>>current lisps is sincere.
>
>
> How do you read what I said as saying that he was being
> insincere? Of course he is sincere. He sincerely thinks
> he can create a language that doesn't suck.

FWIW, I also took "setting up" (esp., but along with that whole
sentence) as an indictment of PG's sincerity in damning all Lisps, even
with my higher-precedence awareness that such semantics would be wildly
out of character for a class act such as yourself.

I am glad to hear I should put more faith in established precedence
lists than perceived implications of always-ambiguous natural language.

Tayss

unread,
Dec 1, 2003, 9:03:41 PM12/1/03
to
Duane Rettig <du...@franz.com> wrote in message news:<4brqsz...@franz.com>...

> tayss...@yahoo.com (Tayss) writes:
> > Interestingly enough, I've never seen him make clear on why he thinks
> > that.
>
> He stated at ILC 2003 that _all_ current lisps suck. It's obvious what
> he's trying to do; he's setting up his own lisp, Arc, to be the one
> lisp that doesn't suck.

Ok, I'm clearly being stupid. I was starting to bite peoples' heads
off for being irrational, so a couple days ago I started being more
sociable in my relationships, but now I'm being sloppy in the
technical aspects of my life.

Allow me not to respond to parts that arose from my sloppy thinking.


> His complaint about loop isn't about iteration vs recursion; it is
> a different-language-within-a-language complaint. I remember reading
> his critique, but it was a long time ago; I don't remember if he did
> this, but his complaint would not be complete unless he also included
> a complaint about cl:format, which is also a complete language within CL.
> Such is the nature of CL - languages withing languages...

I /suspect/ iteration forces lots of control constructs, culminating
in loop and a preponderance of syntaxes (and therefore his critique),
so I will try to clarify this issue.

Personally, when I'm tired, I tend to shift towards writing completely
recursive computations because I don't want to err when writing
iteratively. So I currently sense the two issues of
recursion-vs-iteration and different-language-within-language are
linked.


> I read through that post, and I think I understand what you're getting
> to, but you didn't state any other goal than educational as to why
> you are looking for these criticisms. Are there any other long-range
> purposes?

If I put up a webpage with this info, there are a number of benefits
which I may not intend but still could exist:

- More trustworthy evangelism attempts. Plus deeper resources on how
people countered unfair criticisms in the past.

- I would have liked to watch old greek philosophical debates, even if
most were bad. Lisp debates tend to (ideally) focus away from
syntactical issues, at least to a greater degree than C's for() loop
syntax debates. As a practical example, eq/eql/=/... forms have much
to do with issues that people have debated for millenia; so if there
were ever any debates about the tradeoffs of, say, making
characters/numbers not "true objects," those might be cool.

- Credibility to the thesis that lisp encourages greater community
participation. In various language communities, Heijlsberg and van
Rossum are gods, and while this may be due to good taste and skill,
part of it also is their extreme domination over syntax and therefore
their users. This is just a qualitative critique, but I suspect as
humans, we must decide under what conditions we wish to create under.

- Entertainment.

- Every language could use a _Design & Evolution of C++_, though
perhaps Mazayuki Ida has been doing that for lisp, as Paolo kindly
pointed out.


> > What I really would like to understand is Hillis' and Weinreb's
> > comments that Common Lisp would have been a lot more like Scheme if
> > backwards compatibility were not so important an issue.
>
> Such comments assume that Common Lisp hangs on that one objective
> (i.e. backward compatibility). That assumption is wrong. Common
> Lisp makes tradeoffs (among others) between inclusiveness and
> simplicity, and comes down on the side of inclusiveness usually.

I understand that backward compatibility is not a complete decider,
but I'd be surprised if it's not an 800-lb gorilla. I recall hearing
Symbolics studied the cost of code breakage; the success of wintel is
often attributed to reverse-compatibility, with Microsoft employees
publicly pointing to it as why their products often diverge from
standards. Also anecdotal evidence from XEmacs and Sun.

From Weinreb (I won't assume he speaks for Symbolics' bloc, though
maybe he did once):
http://www.ai.mit.edu/~gregs/ll1-discuss-archive-html/msg02462.html
http://www.ai.mit.edu/~gregs/ll1-discuss-archive-html/msg02449.html


> Scheme is the opposite - it comes down on the side of simplicity
> usually. Inclusiveness is not a backward-compatibility issue,
> although there are compatibility issues to deal with when including
> many concepts into a larger whole.

As I understand, Scheme can either be the R5RS standard,
implementations, or a critique of programming languages (which wasn't
necessarily meant to replace but rather inform). I remember watching
the sicp vid of Sussman explaining the internal compatibility issue
you mention; so maybe Scheme people have... paranoia issues. But from
the Common Lisp perspective, it does not appear necessary to follow
that philosophy to gain good things from it, such as how some
Buddhists enjoy Christian-style weddings without the "issues"
Christian ceremonies often imply.

Maybe I can trot out the success of lexical scoping as the tired old
example, where Common Lisp was able to keep special variables, keyword
args, and other goodies Scheme is not comfortable with.

BTW, obviously you know more about lisp than I do. If I sound
confrontational, I'm just getting my head straight and trying to
explain myself.

Brian Mastenbrook

unread,
Dec 1, 2003, 9:16:06 PM12/1/03
to
In article <5627c6fa.03113...@posting.google.com>, Tayss
<tayss...@yahoo.com> wrote:

You might find this article interesting:

http://www.dreamsongs.com/WIB.html

As far as CL being a "nasty compromise"... that sounds like a
Scheme-ish position, but Schemers make their own compromises too - just
that theirs tend to fall on the line of deferring to the implementor,
underspecifying, or not specifying at all. So in this sense Schemers
compromise user sensibility to implimentor convenience.

It would be a mistake to attempt to tie CL's current popularity to its
merit as a language or any historical implementations of it. Only in
the past two years have really good free Common Lisp tools become
available - mature SBCL, ASDF and ASDF-INSTALL, CLiki, OpenMCL, et al.
It takes time for a language to build up acceptance, and a focus on
"environmental" aspects of CL as a development tool have only recently
come into focus. We're building better tools now than developers of
other languages have - SLIME is really only matched by Erlang, the ease
of development on a CL web server like Araneida or AllegroServe is
totally unmatched, and the performance of our native compilers blows
away Python, PHP or Perl. But it's taken time to get here, and it will
be a little while yet before CL sees wide adoption like these languages
do.

This doesn't mean that Lisp Machines were overrated - just that the
companies made some bad decisions, failed to react to the marketplace,
and that the other lisp vendors have consistently priced themselves out
of the general tool market. (LispWorks doesn't include an HTTP server,
though you can use CL-HTTP with it. Franz - well, if you have to ask,
you can't afford it.)

--
Brian Mastenbrook
http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~bmastenb/

Joe Marshall

unread,
Dec 1, 2003, 9:32:25 PM12/1/03
to
tayss...@yahoo.com (Tayss) writes:

> - I would have liked to watch old greek philosophical debates, even if
> most were bad.

The ancient Greeks were *far* ahead of their time. Many of their
philosophical questions were simply well beyond their means to answer
them. I think that many of their conclusions were wrong, but that is
not necessarily because they were bad at reasoning.

Now imagine how philosophy would be different if we were able to
transport modern computers back to the Greeks.


--
~jrm

Tayss

unread,
Dec 1, 2003, 9:54:58 PM12/1/03
to
Kent M Pitman <pit...@nhplace.com> wrote in message news:<sfwu14k...@shell01.TheWorld.com>...

> I make them all the time, and I try to be honest, but they
> always include my personal biases. Others make theirs and they disagree
> because it includes their biases. If you want to know something unbiased,
> ask what CAR and CDR do. Heh... ;)

Actually, you often make responses that slightly puzzled me in a way I
couldn't express, where you sort of have the strategy of preemptively
keeping parity. When I decided to go in the wayback machine of this
usenet group, it was clear what you were doing, and incidentally I
became aware at how horribly repetitive and unsubtle my thoughts were.
;)


> What exactly do you hope/expect to find? Why not just ask questions about
> the things you wonder about and leave your mind open as to whether the
> results are "good" or "bad" or "glowing" or "damning". Just seek to
> understand things as they are. We're a pretty honest group here.

I explained this under a reply to Duane, but partly it's just an
intuition thing too. Maybe I'm trying to understand what other people
saw and think like them for a while, who knows?

"Winners and losers can seldom be distinguished solely by studying the
published literature, which contains proposals for systems never
built, glowing accounts that outshine the actual user manuals, and
descriptions of systems that work but have not spread beyond their
original environments. People seldom write retrospectives on
failures; when written, they often go unpublished."
-- Kernighan & Mashey

Maybe I want to accept those two guys' challenge.


> IMO, the signal to noise ratio here is pretty good, compared to some
> newsgroups. Yeah, it runs out of control once in a while, but it's
> easy to skip out on a thread that has exploded and get to the next.

I'm not criticizing this forum. I hang out here partly because I'd go
mad with the sea of money-oriented programmers. Not that lispers make
little money, but because those other programmers... just are not in
the universe I like to inhabit. Hard to explain.


> Rather, they disappeared
> for bad business decisions (catering to Mac rather than PC,
> taking a ten year lease on office space for 1000 people and then
> downsizing with a multi-million dollar long-term commitment on that
> office space, etc.)

I read your explanation of this on slashdot. I almost went nuts when
I saw Pascal's ebaying of Open Genera, since I strongly felt Symbolics
should pay him $500 to just pirate the damn thing to everyone who
asked. ;) Ok, it would make no financial sense to the new Symbolics,
but I notice that Free Software and Unix were probably successful
because they both separated the programmers from the business world.
The ten year lease is just such an El Retardo thing to die of; Rich
Chapman's _In Search of Stupidity_ claims that neither high
intelligence nor marketing is the real survival quality, but rather a
lack of stupidity. His book attempts to bring some institutional
knowledge to companies so they don't hurtle towards fatal errors.

Kent M Pitman

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 1:13:25 AM12/2/03
to
tayss...@yahoo.com (Tayss) writes:

> "Winners and losers can seldom be distinguished solely by studying the
> published literature, which contains proposals for systems never
> built, glowing accounts that outshine the actual user manuals, and
> descriptions of systems that work but have not spread beyond their
> original environments. People seldom write retrospectives on
> failures; when written, they often go unpublished."
> -- Kernighan & Mashey
>
> Maybe I want to accept those two guys' challenge.

Actually, my paper on CREF (a hypertext system) is more of a writeup on
failure than success. It did some things but the things it did were not
as interesting as the things it didn't, so I wrote up the latter.
I think you can get the pointer from my publications page and it's probably
online at MIT for reading.
http://www.nhplace.com/kent/publications.html

> I read your explanation of this on slashdot. I almost went nuts when
> I saw Pascal's ebaying of Open Genera, since I strongly felt Symbolics
> should pay him $500 to just pirate the damn thing to everyone who
> asked. ;) Ok, it would make no financial sense to the new Symbolics,
> but I notice that Free Software and Unix were probably successful
> because they both separated the programmers from the business world.

And programmers from the possibility of making meaningful salary.

Don't get me started on free software. It's late and I need to sleep.
(You can google me and free software on this newsgroup if you're wondering.
I'm sure I've written on this once or twice before. ;)
Nite nite.

Rand Sobriquet

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 8:01:41 AM12/2/03
to
Duane Rettig <du...@franz.com> wrote in message >

>

> His complaint about loop isn't about iteration vs recursion; it is
> a different-language-within-a-language complaint. I remember reading
> his critique, but it was a long time ago; I don't remember if he did
> this, but his complaint would not be complete unless he also included
> a complaint about cl:format, which is also a complete language within CL.
> Such is the nature of CL - languages withing languages...
>

Format is pretty straightforward. Loop, on the other hand, is rather
opaque - I find it hard to visualize the end-result (probably a
personal problem). My mind slides over the loop body without gaining
purchase.

I agree that dislike of loop is not a valid criticism of CL.

I use SERIES instead and I enjoy it very much so. I think that it is
almost perfect in every way and it is a pity that it did not make it
into the standard.

Michael Hudson

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 8:06:42 AM12/2/03
to
rsobr...@eudoramail.com (Rand Sobriquet) writes:

> Duane Rettig <du...@franz.com> wrote in message >
>
> >
> > His complaint about loop isn't about iteration vs recursion; it is
> > a different-language-within-a-language complaint. I remember reading
> > his critique, but it was a long time ago; I don't remember if he did
> > this, but his complaint would not be complete unless he also included
> > a complaint about cl:format, which is also a complete language within CL.
> > Such is the nature of CL - languages withing languages...
> >
>
> Format is pretty straightforward. Loop, on the other hand, is rather
> opaque

! My feelings are more or less the opposite. Sure horrors are
possible with both, but I find the alphabet soup of format really hard
to remember. Probably if I actually wrote more CL than I do at the
moment it would start to stick...

[...]


> I use SERIES instead and I enjoy it very much so. I think that it is
> almost perfect in every way and it is a pity that it did not make it
> into the standard.

I really should learn how to use series properly...

Cheers,
mwh

--
Not only does the English Language borrow words from other
languages, it sometimes chases them down dark alleys, hits
them over the head, and goes through their pockets. -- Eddy Peters

Paul F. Dietz

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 9:15:41 AM12/2/03
to
Michael Hudson wrote:

>>Format is pretty straightforward. Loop, on the other hand, is rather
>>opaque
>
>
> ! My feelings are more or less the opposite. Sure horrors are
> possible with both, but I find the alphabet soup of format really hard
> to remember.

I agree, although that may change after I've written all the FORMAT
ansi-tests. :)

Paul

Tim Bradshaw

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 8:43:24 AM12/2/03
to
* Rand Sobriquet wrote:
> Format is pretty straightforward. Loop, on the other hand, is rather
> opaque - I find it hard to visualize the end-result (probably a
> personal problem). My mind slides over the loop body without gaining
> purchase.

"~& ~:[?~;~:*~S~]: ~:[?~;~:*~S~] -> ~:[?~;~:*~S~]~%"

--tim

Paolo Amoroso

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 9:53:11 AM12/2/03
to
Joe Marshall writes:

> The ancient Greeks were *far* ahead of their time. Many of their

Indeed. You may check Lucio Russo's "La rivoluzione
dimenticata". Unfortunately, the book is available only in Italian.

Rand Sobriquet

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 12:12:05 PM12/2/03
to
Brian Mastenbrook <NOSPAMbmas...@cs.indiana.edu> wrote in message>


> This doesn't mean that Lisp Machines were overrated - just that the
> companies made some bad decisions, failed to react to the marketplace,
> and that the other lisp vendors have consistently priced themselves out
> of the general tool market. (LispWorks doesn't include an HTTP server,
> though you can use CL-HTTP with it. Franz - well, if you have to ask,
> you can't afford it.)

Just a comment in passing: Allegro Common Lisp is not as expensive as
you imagine. Most serious customers just haggle for a bit. It's not
a big deal to negotiate with salesman. There are all kinds of pricing
plans available. You can, as an example, pay extra to avoid
licensing, etc...

And Corman Lisp still costs 200ish.

Fred Gilham

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 12:36:10 PM12/2/03
to

Joe Marshall <prunes...@comcast.net> writes:


Neil Postman (in AMUSING OURSELVES TO DEATH) points out that at the
time of Plato there was a debate over whether things should be written
down or remembered. Plato was of the "old school" which argued that
writing things down caused people's memories to atrophy. (Of course
we only know of him by his written-down dialogs, so that is somewhat
ironic.)

The introduction of technology --- any technology --- can change the
underlying environment and so change not just the premises of an
argument (the raw material so to speak) but more fundamentally the
very activity in which you are engaged in. The Greeks with computers
would not have done the things we remember them for. Yes, they might
have done something else we'd remember them for, but maybe not.

Even so small a change as using Lisp (with its associated development
tools) compared to another language can do something like this.
Programming in Lisp seems to me at least to be a different activity
than programming in, say, Java.

--
Fred Gilham gil...@csl.sri.com
In matters of religion I have considered that its free exercise is
placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General
Government. I have therefore undertaken on no occasion to prescribe
the religious exercises suited to it, but have left them, as the
Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of the
church or state authorities acknowledged by the several religious
societies. --- Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address

Joe Marshall

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 12:49:39 PM12/2/03
to
rsobr...@eudoramail.com (Rand Sobriquet) writes:

> Brian Mastenbrook <NOSPAMbmas...@cs.indiana.edu> wrote in message>
>
>> This doesn't mean that Lisp Machines were overrated - just that the
>> companies made some bad decisions, failed to react to the marketplace,
>> and that the other lisp vendors have consistently priced themselves out
>> of the general tool market. (LispWorks doesn't include an HTTP server,
>> though you can use CL-HTTP with it. Franz - well, if you have to ask,
>> you can't afford it.)
>
> Just a comment in passing: Allegro Common Lisp is not as expensive as
> you imagine.

I imagine that Allegro Common Lisp costs upwards of $1000. (assuming
a single commercial license)

Xanalys Lispworks lists at $900 for Linux and Windows.

Duane Rettig

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 1:01:40 PM12/2/03
to
Tim Bradshaw <t...@cley.com> writes:

#<Printer Error, obj=#x71000985: Insufficient format args>

Pascal Bourguignon

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 1:25:55 PM12/2/03
to
rsobr...@eudoramail.com (Rand Sobriquet) writes:

> Duane Rettig <du...@franz.com> wrote in message >
>
> >
> > His complaint about loop isn't about iteration vs recursion; it is
> > a different-language-within-a-language complaint. I remember reading
> > his critique, but it was a long time ago; I don't remember if he did
> > this, but his complaint would not be complete unless he also included
> > a complaint about cl:format, which is also a complete language within CL.
> > Such is the nature of CL - languages withing languages...
> >
>
> Format is pretty straightforward. Loop, on the other hand, is rather
> opaque - I find it hard to visualize the end-result (probably a
> personal problem). My mind slides over the loop body without gaining
> purchase.

It looks like the semantics of complex LOOP constructs is not clearly
defined. At least, different implementations have different ideas on
what should be done. That's the reason why I don't use LOOP.



> I agree that dislike of loop is not a valid criticism of CL.
>
> I use SERIES instead and I enjoy it very much so. I think that it is
> almost perfect in every way and it is a pity that it did not make it
> into the standard.

--
__Pascal_Bourguignon__ http://www.informatimago.com/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Living free in Alaska or in Siberia, a grizzli's life expectancy is 35 years,
but no more than 8 years in captivity. http://www.theadvocates.org/

Tayss

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 1:48:47 PM12/2/03
to
Kent M Pitman <pit...@nhplace.com> wrote in message news:<sfwr7zn...@shell01.TheWorld.com>...

> And programmers from the possibility of making meaningful salary.
>
> Don't get me started on free software. It's late and I need to sleep.
> (You can google me and free software on this newsgroup if you're wondering.
> I'm sure I've written on this once or twice before. ;)
> Nite nite.

I've read your posts on this and respect your nuanced position, but
many criticisms ignore the offshoring, quality-of-life, and price
dumping problems inherent in traditional companies.

There are disadvantages to free software. Just as with offshoring.
That's why it's important to scrutinize claims that either will
destroy the codemonkeying profession.

Wolfhard Buß

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 3:11:55 PM12/2/03
to
Duane Rettig <du...@franz.com> writes:

> Tim Bradshaw <t...@cley.com> writes:
>
>> * Rand Sobriquet wrote:
>> > Format is pretty straightforward. Loop, on the other hand, is rather
>> > opaque - I find it hard to visualize the end-result (probably a
>> > personal problem). My mind slides over the loop body without gaining
>> > purchase.
>>
>> "~& ~:[?~;~:*~S~]: ~:[?~;~:*~S~] -> ~:[?~;~:*~S~]~%"
>
> #<Printer Error, obj=#x71000985: Insufficient format args>

(format nil "~:[~?~;~:*~S~]: ~:[~?~;~:*~S~] -> ~:[~?~;~:*~S~]" 'car 'list t)

=> "CAR: LIST -> T"

--
"Hurry if you still want to see something. Everything is vanishing."
-- Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)

Geoffrey Summerhayes

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 3:02:38 PM12/2/03
to

"Tim Bradshaw" <t...@cley.com> wrote in message
news:ey3oeur...@lostwithiel.cley.com...

<shudder> Please tell me the format string was as far as you got,
those threads are too long already... :-)

--
Geoff


Bob Riemenschneider

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 4:25:00 PM12/2/03
to
Kenny Tilton <kti...@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message news:<h8Nyb.178331$Gq.21...@twister.nyc.rr.com>
> ... Hell, everyone
> on cll seems to be working on their own version of Lisp, why shouldn't
> [Paul Graham]? ...

Well, I would guess that everyone who has done more than play with
Common Lisp has ideas on how to "improve" it. And I'm more than
willing to listen to any of them who has enough sense to use CL to
implement his or her "new and improved Lisp". The others I kinda
worry about.

-- rar

Kent M Pitman

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 5:01:49 PM12/2/03
to
tayss...@yahoo.com (Tayss) writes:

Your remark, at least in its syntactic form, suggests that the fact
that there are disadvantages to each is reason to diminish the claims
that there are disadvantages to the other. Maybe this isn't your intent,
but since I can't read your intent, I'll respond to the form.

An argument made with parallel construction, to help you understand
how I have read what you've here written, is to address someone who
says that burning coal is bad for the atmosphere by saying that there
are disadvantages to nuclear fuel too, and therefore you conclude that
we should scrutinize the claim that either will destroy the
environment. This is simply not so. This is a reason to encourage
discussion of what will not have these ill effects.

I have said repeatedly that my objection is not per se to free
software but specifically to "free software qua panacea". There seems
to be a rampant willingness to believe that if one releases free
software there can be no ill effect to the world and that one should
feel free to do this at any time with any piece of software without
examining the moral consequences. It is as if there is somehow a
belief that someone somewhere proved a theorem that said that good
intentions will result in good outcomes. There is likewise a
widespread belief that my saying there are ill effects is the same as
denying any possible good effects. Note well: I did not say
"universal", I said "widespread". There are numerous people who seem
to believe this. There is also a widespread desire to chime in saying
"not me" as if this somehow disproved my observation. (Existence
proofs disprove universal quantifications, not existential
quantifications.)

The criticism of capitalism that motivates free software seems always
to be that "capitalism is flawed" and yet when I defend capitalism and
criticize "free software" as flawed, I find people don't see that this
is a symmetric situation. I don't find lots of people saying "oh my
god, you're right, there are problems in both of these systems. we
should really caucus can see if we can bring the two into alignment,
or work out a third option". People instead seem to trench in to
whatever they think is right, and the argument gets boring. Or they
start using Microsoft as a synonym for Capitalism, as if that were
illustrative of capitalism at its best, rather than just an obvoius
example of what unrestrained capitalism perhaps isn't as good as
capitalism + reasonable restrictions of law.

At least capitalists DO regulate themselves legally. Perhaps
imperfectly but they admit imperfections in the paradigm and attempt
to adjust things to mitigate the ill effects. The free software
people neither want regulation nor even does anyone who is an
outspoken proponent of free software that I have ever heard advocate
any form whatsoever of voluntary self-restraint in any area of free
software. "More is better" is about all I ever hear. That seems to
me to be the primary asymmetry in the two positions: The idea that
free software is, in and of itself, a panacea. And that's my objection.

Tayss

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 7:05:35 PM12/2/03
to
Kent M Pitman <pit...@nhplace.com> wrote in message news:<sfwr7zn...@shell01.TheWorld.com>...

> And programmers from the possibility of making meaningful salary.
>
> Don't get me started on free software. It's late and I need to sleep.
> (You can google me and free software on this newsgroup if you're wondering.
> I'm sure I've written on this once or twice before. ;)
> Nite nite.

Actually, why don't I just take back my post of free software, it's
not an important war to start. My closest friend is employed through
free software, I've met people unemployed because of it. Some are
helped by offshoring, others are hurt.

Ray Dillinger

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 7:09:36 PM12/2/03
to

So am I one of the ones you worry about? I'm using scheme to
implement a "new and improved" Lisp...

Bear

Peter Seibel

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 9:58:32 PM12/2/03
to
Pascal Bourguignon <sp...@thalassa.informatimago.com> writes:

> rsobr...@eudoramail.com (Rand Sobriquet) writes:
>
> > Duane Rettig <du...@franz.com> wrote in message >
> >
> > >
> > > His complaint about loop isn't about iteration vs recursion; it is
> > > a different-language-within-a-language complaint. I remember reading
> > > his critique, but it was a long time ago; I don't remember if he did
> > > this, but his complaint would not be complete unless he also included
> > > a complaint about cl:format, which is also a complete language within CL.
> > > Such is the nature of CL - languages withing languages...
> > >
> >
> > Format is pretty straightforward. Loop, on the other hand, is rather
> > opaque - I find it hard to visualize the end-result (probably a
> > personal problem). My mind slides over the loop body without gaining
> > purchase.
>
> It looks like the semantics of complex LOOP constructs is not clearly
> defined. At least, different implementations have different ideas on
> what should be done. That's the reason why I don't use LOOP.

Do you have any examples?

-Peter

--
Peter Seibel pe...@javamonkey.com

Lisp is the red pill. -- John Fraser, comp.lang.lisp

Brian Mastenbrook

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 10:44:40 PM12/2/03
to
In article <vfozje...@ccs.neu.edu>, Joe Marshall <j...@ccs.neu.edu>
wrote:

> I imagine that Allegro Common Lisp costs upwards of $1000. (assuming
> a single commercial license)
>
> Xanalys Lispworks lists at $900 for Linux and Windows.
>
> > And Corman Lisp still costs 200ish.
>
>

I think LispWorks is reasonably priced, though they need a student
price badly, and Corman is very reasonably priced. Allegro, as far as
I'm aware, costs about $1k for a single academic license, not including
CLIM. Either they give bad academic deals or it's quite a bit more
expensive for non-academic organizations. (As I've heard from more than
one ACL user, Franz doesn't want to be your vendor - they want to be
your partner.) LW Professional is $600 for a single academic license,
including CLIM and free runtimes - a more reasonable deal.

(Disclaimer: this is second-hand from a professor who did buy Allegro
for his school.)

Now, if I could take a moment to rant: students need CL too, and we're
quite a bit poorer than even academic departments. Corman has a good
student price, considering the already reasonable cost, but the other
vendors are just nuts, IMHO. Digitool wants $450 for student MCL 5.0,
and I don't know too many students (myself included) who have that much
money to spend on a single program when one can make do with the free
alternatives (though 4.3.5 is a very attractive $66). Xanalys would do
well to offer a student version. Either of these vendors would have my
money if they offered a sub-$200 student edition. I don't care about
application generation - it could be disabled in the student version
for all I care, and Mathematica-style banners appear on all document
windows. It would be good for the vendors too - get 'em hooked while
they're young, I say.

Well, I guess they have my email address if they decide they want my
money.

Rahul Jain

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 11:23:25 PM12/2/03
to
Brian Mastenbrook <NOSPAMbmas...@cs.indiana.edu> writes:

> Now, if I could take a moment to rant: students need CL too, and we're

> quite a bit poorer than even academic departments. [...] Either of


> these vendors would have my money if they offered a sub-$200 student
> edition. I don't care about application generation - it could be
> disabled in the student version for all I care, and Mathematica-style
> banners appear on all document windows. It would be good for the
> vendors too - get 'em hooked while they're young, I say.

You're in luck. Both Franz and Xanalys offer a student edition for
free. They call it the "trial" edition, since you're trying out the
product and the language as part of your education. Neither has
application generation capabilities and neither have banners on their
windows. They do have some heap size and continuous running time
limitations, but if you're just learning the language, it's not like you
need to use huge data sets or run 24/7 daemons.

--
Rahul Jain

Kent M Pitman

unread,
Dec 2, 2003, 11:26:27 PM12/2/03
to
Brian Mastenbrook <NOSPAMbmas...@cs.indiana.edu> writes:

> Xanalys would do well to offer a student version.

It does. The personal edition. It's free.

Thomas F. Burdick

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 1:21:02 AM12/3/03
to

Wow, two in a row. Heap limits and time limits are bad for students.
to try something out as a professional looking to buy, you really need
to try the real product (kudos to Xanalys for the LW evaluation at
ILC, that's exactly the kind of trial I needed as a professional --
not that I need their product at the moment, but if the need comes up,
well, I know what I can get). Students don't need a lot of the fancy
things that production engineers do -- but heap limits and time
limits, well, who would you expect to unreasonably use too much space
and time? A student. Some of the time, they're still learning what
they're doing, and some of the time they have unreasonable
requirements. The reasoning begind student prices is to get people
hooked while they're in college, so they'll want to take it with them
later. To do that, you can't have weird limits. The personal edition
might do a little part of that job, but it's not the same thing.

--
/|_ .-----------------------.
,' .\ / | No to Imperialist war |
,--' _,' | Wage class war! |
/ / `-----------------------'
( -. |
| ) |
(`-. '--.)
`. )----'

Kent M Pitman

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 1:47:48 AM12/3/03
to
t...@famine.OCF.Berkeley.EDU (Thomas F. Burdick) writes:

> Wow, two in a row. Heap limits and time limits are bad for students.
> to try something out as a professional looking to buy, you really need
> to try the real product (kudos to Xanalys for the LW evaluation at
> ILC, that's exactly the kind of trial I needed as a professional --
> not that I need their product at the moment, but if the need comes up,
> well, I know what I can get). Students don't need a lot of the fancy
> things that production engineers do -- but heap limits and time
> limits, well, who would you expect to unreasonably use too much space
> and time? A student.

I disagree with this. It's _surely_ possible for a student to do this,
but students are used to enduring pain in exchange for free things.

(If they don't like it, let them get cormon or a gnu-free version...)

It is simply not necessary for every implementation to cater to every
kind of user. It's VERY nice of the two big commercial vendors to
provide anything at all, and it's ridiculous to nitpick the way in which
they do it.

CL has a hugely rich set of options for students. Probably more than
most languages.

Whether each vendor has a rich set of options for students is a
marketing choice for that particular vendor, and IMO it's quite wrong
to misconstrue their decision to not do everything you wish as
anything negative. You can wish they would do otherwise, but wishing is
cheap and, in this case, I think not constructive.

I'm sure if they could, they would. If they haven't, they're not
going to read your message and say "oh my goodness, we had no idea
that students were short of money" nor "oh my goodness, we had no idea
that students are prone to pound on things heavily". The phrasing of
your message makes it appear to "offer information" and yet you surely
must know that the vendors already know the things you say.

These seem to me to be the real issues:

(1) It's very easy for student versions to "accidentally" get exported to
non-student machines and used for real work, resulting in non-payment to
vendors who need payment to survive. While we're on the subject of things
students are prone to do, playing fast and loose with copyright and other
ethics is true of enough of them that it's reasonable for a vendor to take
this into account. Every time a vendor offers a free or reduced price
version that is uncrippled, that vendor is risking loss of a sale. That's
a serious matter that vendors must evaluate on their own terms and that
I think we are not competent to second guess.

(2) The LW Personal Edition is sufficiently powerful that I've often used
it either accidentally or intentionally for "real work". e.g., if I find
myself on a strange machine away from my normal one, I may just download a
personal edition from Xanalys (figuring it can't hurt the machine's owner
to find a Lisp laying around and perhaps play with it :) and then use it
as a stopgap. And, frankly, it lets me do enough that I often don't find
it much different than the real one. Sure, there are situations where it
isn't good. But it's good enough that teaching could be designed around it
and self-taught students can use it just fine. One reason you cripple a
version is to give incentive to upgrade when the need is stronger; if you
uncripple it totally, you lose the incentive and, again, money. Only vendors
can know what their own monetary pain thresholds are, IMO.

(3) If I recall, the Personal Edition was developed and debugged as
part of a Lisp teaching program with the Open University in England,
and as far as I know it worked for them. So even just the isolated
claim that students can't make do is suspect.

Thomas F. Burdick

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 2:54:28 AM12/3/03
to
Kent M Pitman <pit...@nhplace.com> writes:

> t...@famine.OCF.Berkeley.EDU (Thomas F. Burdick) writes:
>
> > Wow, two in a row. Heap limits and time limits are bad for students.

(This sounded more argumentative that I meant to)

> > to try something out as a professional looking to buy, you really need
> > to try the real product (kudos to Xanalys for the LW evaluation at
> > ILC, that's exactly the kind of trial I needed as a professional --
> > not that I need their product at the moment, but if the need comes up,
> > well, I know what I can get). Students don't need a lot of the fancy
> > things that production engineers do -- but heap limits and time
> > limits, well, who would you expect to unreasonably use too much space
> > and time? A student.
>
> I disagree with this. It's _surely_ possible for a student to do this,
> but students are used to enduring pain in exchange for free things.

Certainly. I wasn't arguing that students *couldn't* use the personal
edition, I was pointing out that it's not the same as a student
edition. If Xanalys doesn't want to offer a student edition (and
apparently they don't), that's fine, that's a marketing decision. I
was responding to two posts in a row implying that the personal
edition was the same thing; it's not.

> (If they don't like it, let them get cormon or a gnu-free version...)
>
> It is simply not necessary for every implementation to cater to every
> kind of user. It's VERY nice of the two big commercial vendors to
> provide anything at all, and it's ridiculous to nitpick the way in which
> they do it.
>
> CL has a hugely rich set of options for students. Probably more than
> most languages.

Definately. I think we might even beat C++ in that category.

> Whether each vendor has a rich set of options for students is a
> marketing choice for that particular vendor, and IMO it's quite wrong
> to misconstrue their decision to not do everything you wish as
> anything negative. You can wish they would do otherwise, but wishing is
> cheap and, in this case, I think not constructive.
>
> I'm sure if they could, they would. If they haven't, they're not
> going to read your message and say "oh my goodness, we had no idea
> that students were short of money" nor "oh my goodness, we had no idea
> that students are prone to pound on things heavily". The phrasing of
> your message makes it appear to "offer information" and yet you surely
> must know that the vendors already know the things you say.

That's not what I was saying at all. I wasn't trying to "offer
information" to the vendors -- I know they were informed when making
their choices -- I was trying to justify my assertion that a
"personal" version for light hobbiests isn't the same thing as a
student version.

> These seem to me to be the real issues:
>
> (1) It's very easy for student versions to "accidentally"

[ snip ]

No argument here. That's an argument about "should", not "does".

> (2) The LW Personal Edition is sufficiently powerful that I've often used
> it either accidentally or intentionally for "real work".

Yeah, I could see that, too. There are lots of lightwieght things I
do in my day-to-day work. Again, that's an argument about
should/shoudn't, not whether they offer a student edition.

> (3) If I recall, the Personal Edition was developed and debugged as
> part of a Lisp teaching program with the Open University in England,
> and as far as I know it worked for them. So even just the isolated
> claim that students can't make do is suspect.

Of course they *can* make do, sometimes. Especially if their
assignments avoid gratuitously weird requirements that would make
using Lisp impossible. That's not what I was arguing, though.

Pascal Costanza

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 2:55:07 AM12/3/03
to

Kent M Pitman wrote:

One problem might be that the restrictions they place on the personal
edition sound like _huge_ restrictions when coming from more traditional
languages. (esp. no executables and no automatic loading of patches)

That such restrictions are only minor ones in Common Lisp is something
that one only realizes when one has understood how Lisp works.

Pascal

--
Tyler: "How's that working out for you?"
Jack: "Great."
Tyler: "Keep it up, then."

Tim Bradshaw

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 3:34:47 AM12/3/03
to
* Thomas F Burdick wrote:
> Kent M Pitman <pit...@nhplace.com> writes:
>> Brian Mastenbrook <NOSPAMbmas...@cs.indiana.edu> writes:
>>
>> > Xanalys would do well to offer a student version.
>>
>> It does. The personal edition. It's free.

> Wow, two in a row. Heap limits and time limits are bad for
> students.

Good. They should use one of the multiple free CL implementations
which don't have heap or time limits then, the same way they use gcc
and linux and so on.

(It's funny, but I've *taught* Lisp courses to programmers using the
limited trial version of Xanalys, and I think ACL too. Somehow these
horrible limits weren't a problem for us. Students must write much
more demanding applications, I guess.)

Oh, I misunderstood didn't I? Using the free implementations or
living with the heap & time limits would solve the problem and allow
them to actually learn stuff, instead of whining about evil vendors
who won't give you things for free on usenet, which is *so* much more
fun and educational.

Actually, I'm surprised people still bother complaining: now we all
spend all our time stealing music & video, surely everyone understands
that theft is just fine now. Just steal the software why don't you,
it's really easier than complaining, and it has to be better to
deprive some evil person working for a Lisp vendor of their livelyhood
than musicians. (After all, you're happy to deprive millions of
Indians of a living by endless protectionist legislation to prevent
`offshoring' of tasks they can do better than you: who cares about
anyone who isn't a student, still less anyone who isn't American?)

--tim

Edi Weitz

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 4:05:55 AM12/3/03
to
On Tue, 02 Dec 2003 22:44:40 -0500, Brian Mastenbrook <NOSPAMbmas...@cs.indiana.edu> wrote:

> Allegro, as far as I'm aware, costs about $1k for a single academic
> license, not including CLIM.

US$ 599 for an academic "Lease" version, see

<http://www.franz.com/products/packages/>

Edi.

Tim Josling

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 4:58:57 AM12/3/03
to
Ray Dillinger wrote:
>
> Basically, CL has the problems of a big-ass system language;
> complicated interfaces, difficult to learn, module and OO
> stuff you have to know to get much of anywhere, etc.


You may be right about this, but my own experience was that Lisp was
easier to learn than Scheme.

Lisp is big but you can ignore the bits you are not interested in such
as (for me so far) CLOS and modules.

After a year of scheme (MIT Scheme) and a week of Lisp (CMUCL) I am in
programming heaven.

To me it looks like Scheme is to Lisp as Pascal is to C. More correct
and pure but harder to use for real work in my experience.

Tim Josling

Michael Livshin

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 5:41:06 AM12/3/03
to
Tim Josling <tej_at_melbpc....@nospam.com> writes:

> To me it looks like Scheme is to Lisp as Pascal is to C. More
> correct

how exactly is Scheme more correct than Lisp?
or, for that matter, how exactly is Pascal more correct than C?

--
Incrementally extended heuristic algorithms tend inexorably toward the
incomprehensible.

Michael Hudson

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 6:31:25 AM12/3/03
to
Tim Bradshaw <t...@cley.com> writes:

> Oh, I misunderstood didn't I? Using the free implementations or
> living with the heap & time limits would solve the problem and allow
> them to actually learn stuff, instead of whining about evil vendors
> who won't give you things for free on usenet, which is *so* much more
> fun and educational.

I don't think anyone's claimed that vendors should give their
unrestricted versions to students for free yet...

Cheers,
mwh

--
In that case I suggest that to get the correct image you look at
the screen from inside the monitor whilst standing on your head.
-- James Bonfield, http://www.ioccc.org/2000/rince.hint

Message has been deleted

Brian Mastenbrook

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 7:34:26 AM12/3/03
to
In article <sfwvfoy...@shell01.TheWorld.com>, Kent M Pitman
<pit...@nhplace.com> wrote:

> I disagree with this. It's _surely_ possible for a student to do this,
> but students are used to enduring pain in exchange for free things.

Of course.

>
> (If they don't like it, let them get cormon or a gnu-free version...)
>

I've put a lot of my own time into the GNU-free CL community. But on
the other hand I am a CL user too, and am not exactly "easy" on a CL
implementation. The code I have been working conses heavily due to some
semi-combinatoric portions. See:

http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~bmastenb/documents/bmgecco03.pdf

> It is simply not necessary for every implementation to cater to every
> kind of user. It's VERY nice of the two big commercial vendors to
> provide anything at all, and it's ridiculous to nitpick the way in which
> they do it.

I apologize if my post sounded like a nitpick. I'm sure the commercial
CL vendors are trying to do what they think is best for their markets.
So did Symbolics, FWIW.

>
> CL has a hugely rich set of options for students. Probably more than
> most languages.

Agreed, but the "low-hanging" fruit for C++ (MS Visual Studio) is a
very, very nice development environment, particularly for debugging. I
know neither Digitool nor Xanalys has the market strength to price
their products academically like MS does (VS is $99), but this removes
the options that are most comparable to what they'll find cheaply for
C++, Java, Pascal, et al.

> Whether each vendor has a rich set of options for students is a
> marketing choice for that particular vendor, and IMO it's quite wrong
> to misconstrue their decision to not do everything you wish as
> anything negative. You can wish they would do otherwise, but wishing is
> cheap and, in this case, I think not constructive.

Agreed. Let it be known that my original post was a whiny rant with
very little useful content in it.

> (1) It's very easy for student versions to "accidentally" get exported to
> non-student machines and used for real work, resulting in non-payment to
> vendors who need payment to survive. While we're on the subject of things
> students are prone to do, playing fast and loose with copyright and other
> ethics is true of enough of them that it's reasonable for a vendor to take
> this into account. Every time a vendor offers a free or reduced price
> version that is uncrippled, that vendor is risking loss of a sale. That's
> a serious matter that vendors must evaluate on their own terms and that
> I think we are not competent to second guess.

From what I can tell, other vendors work with this limitation - see
also Wolfram, who is very very annoying about their license, but it
seems to work for them. Maybe the student market has more pitfalls than
I would anticipate - I would tend to overestimate the nature of people,
honestly.

> (2) The LW Personal Edition is sufficiently powerful that I've often used
> it either accidentally or intentionally for "real work". e.g., if I find
> myself on a strange machine away from my normal one, I may just download a
> personal edition from Xanalys (figuring it can't hurt the machine's owner
> to find a Lisp laying around and perhaps play with it :) and then use it
> as a stopgap. And, frankly, it lets me do enough that I often don't find
> it much different than the real one. Sure, there are situations where it
> isn't good. But it's good enough that teaching could be designed around it
> and self-taught students can use it just fine. One reason you cripple a
> version is to give incentive to upgrade when the need is stronger; if you
> uncripple it totally, you lose the incentive and, again, money. Only vendors
> can know what their own monetary pain thresholds are, IMO.

I'm not a student learning CL - I can say I already know that quite
well. I'm a student /using/ CL. Isn't that what we want - more people
using the language? There seems to be a lot of people who say they'd
like to learn lisp, but fewer say they want to use it.

> (3) If I recall, the Personal Edition was developed and debugged as
> part of a Lisp teaching program with the Open University in England,
> and as far as I know it worked for them. So even just the isolated
> claim that students can't make do is suspect.

As I've said, students learning CL probably can use the personal
editions just fine. I'm not learning CL. I'm a first year graduate
student, not a second-year undergraduate trying to learn the language
in an introductory AI class.

If you're wondering why I don't just get the school to pay, as I seem
to be using it for research - it's doubtful that they'd pay for
anything until I was actually into formal research, and I'm sure
getting Indiana University to pay for a CL would be fun...

Of course, perhaps my situation is more isolated than I would hope.
I've talked to a few other students who are in approximately the same
boat, so my personal experience suggests it's not completely unheard
of. Whether the commercial vendors feel this way is up to them.

Brian Mastenbrook

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 7:39:17 AM12/3/03
to
In article <878yluh...@rice.edu>, Rahul Jain <ra...@rice.edu> wrote:

> You're in luck. Both Franz and Xanalys offer a student edition for
> free. They call it the "trial" edition, since you're trying out the
> product and the language as part of your education. Neither has
> application generation capabilities and neither have banners on their
> windows. They do have some heap size and continuous running time
> limitations, but if you're just learning the language, it's not like you
> need to use huge data sets or run 24/7 daemons.

I am using huge data sets. Are students now expected to not do
interesting things? I'm surely not "learning the language". I'm also
familiar enough with the limitations of the demo versions - Franz
doesn't meet my needs at all (I'm looking for a better development
environment), and Xanalys is close to perfect, as I discovered during
the 4.3/Mac beta period, but I can hit the personal edition heap limit
very very quickly on a 2GHz G5 :-)

(I'm running 24/7 daemons with SBCL, but I'm not looking for a
replacement for that - I'm looking for a better development
environment, and as nice as SLIME is, I never quite feel comfortable in
emacs...)

Rob Warnock

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 7:35:22 AM12/3/03
to
Wolfhard Buß <wb...@gmx.net> wrote:
+---------------

| Duane Rettig <du...@franz.com> writes:
| > Tim Bradshaw <t...@cley.com> writes:
| >> * Rand Sobriquet wrote:
| >> > Format is pretty straightforward. Loop, on the other hand, is rather
| >> > opaque - I find it hard to visualize the end-result (probably a
| >> > personal problem). My mind slides over the loop body without gaining
| >> > purchase.
| >>
| >> "~& ~:[?~;~:*~S~]: ~:[?~;~:*~S~] -> ~:[?~;~:*~S~]~%"
| >
| > #<Printer Error, obj=#x71000985: Insufficient format args>
|
| (format nil "~:[~?~;~:*~S~]: ~:[~?~;~:*~S~] -> ~:[~?~;~:*~S~]" 'car 'list t)
|
| => "CAR: LIST -> T"
+---------------

Oh, but that's just the *simple* case!! ;-} ;-}
Here's a much more interesting set of arguments:

(format nil "~:[~?~;~:*~S~]: ~:[~?~;~:*~S~] -> ~:[~?~;~:*~S~]"

nil "==~s==" '(foo)
'bar
nil "~s:~{ <~S,~S>~}." '(baz (x0 y0 x1 y1)))
=> "==FOO==: BAR -> BAZ: <X0,Y0> <X1,Y1>."

[Thank heavens for the CLHS!]


-Rob

-----
Rob Warnock <rp...@rpw3.org>
627 26th Avenue <URL:http://rpw3.org/>
San Mateo, CA 94403 (650)572-2607

Brian Mastenbrook

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 7:54:52 AM12/3/03
to
In article <87vfoyc...@bird.agharta.de>, Edi Weitz <e...@agharta.de>
wrote:

> US$ 599 for an academic "Lease" version, see
>
> <http://www.franz.com/products/packages/>

Does that expire? I think he (the prof) was looking for something a bit
more permanent, as funding is always ephemeral.

Kent M Pitman

unread,
Dec 3, 2003, 8:33:18 AM12/3/03